The Fryer, Vol. 10
In a joint press conference today, Activision and Sony Computer Entertainment announced an unprecedented initiative to combine two competing, in-development projects into a single release. The games formerly known as Prototype and Infamous will be combined into a new release, dubbed ProtoFamous and set for release under a dual-publishing agreement sometime in June.
"Let's face it, there was never enough difference between these games to justify the existence of them both in the first place," said Activision CEO Mike Griffith. "Most gamers only need one game with a brooding, loner superhero running amok in an urban environment, at most. Now they can buy that one game -- ProtoFamous -- without having to worry about what they might be missing out on!"
Customer confusion wasn't the only reason behind the decision to combine the games; economic considerations also were also a factor. "With this partnership, both Sony and Activision will be able to better utilize their limited development resources in these trying times," said SCEA president Jack Tretton. "A small team will be all that's required to finish off the development process, leaving the rest of the programmers and developers free to work on other projects. It just makes economic sense."
Tretton went on to discuss how all the assets from both projects would be seamlessly integrated into ProtoFamous in a way that makes it "impossible to tell where any one bit came from ... as if anyone could tell before."
Critics weren't very surprised about the announcement, some going so far as to welcome the news. "You know, I could never really tell those games apart anyway," said Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann. "Now, I don't have to. This is going to save me a lot of time!"
Some were taking a more critical look at the plan, though. "We have heard about the deal and we're currently looking into any potential conflicts as far as current anti-trust and/or collusion laws," said Justice Department Counsel Jim Sanderson. "Frankly, though, I can't see why canceling either one of these games should be against the law."
Rumor: Next PSP to lack buttons, screen, casing
Hey rumor-oids and rumor-inas. It's your lovable furry old friend The Rumor Monger, back again with more of those gaming tidbits that the other sites are calling "totally baseless" and "irresponsible to report." That's right: You can only get this kind of information right here!
So you've probably already heard the reports that Sony's follow-up to the PSP will do away with the UMD drive. That's nothing! Rumor moles deep within Sony have told your fur-covered reporter that the PSP2 will also be missing many other bits of PSP hardware, including the buttons, the screen and the front casing!
Apparently engineers at The Big S are looking to capture some of the sales fire that Nintendo has captured with its Nintendo DS and Wii. To that end, the company will forgo complex, screen-based games for simpler, more casual fare that can be played on the system's revolutionary three-by-three grid of colored LEDs, attached to the side of the exposed circuit board. A variety of such games will be downloadable to a Sony Memory Stick via Wi-Fi and controlled via a motion sensor, just like the ultra-hot Wii.
Besides making the PSP a lot more cost competitive, my source tells me the removed hardware will make the unit a lot lighter and more energy efficient, too. In fact, it will be so energy efficient that it doesn't need a battery: a solar cell with a hand crank backup will provide all the portable gaming power you'll need!
Sounds unbelievable? I wouldn't believe it myself if I didn't know my source was 100,000 percent reliable! Remember, when you're shaking that PSP2 circuit board, you heard about it here first.
Poll: Majority of gamers are bored, whiny ingrates
A new, wide-ranging survey of gamers has shown that a large majority of current players are chronically bored, ungrateful little brats who don't even know how good they have it these days.
The Pew Center for the Internet and American Life polled over 10,000 gamers and found that most of them are generally unhappy with the dazzling, brilliant entertainments laid out before them like a sumptuous banquet of amusement. A full 73 percent of gamers said they were "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied with their current game libraries, which all include games that would have been considered fantastical technological pipe dreams just 20 years ago. In addition, 68 percent agreed that today's crop of games, including ones that transport players to near-photorealistic fantasy worlds that they could never hope to experience in their actual lives, were "too repetitive."
"Yeah, sure, the Xbox 360's graphics are pretty good, but my TV only does 1080i, so I don't feel like I'm getting the full HD experience, y'know?" said poll respondent Melinda Davies, 33, whose parents paid $300 for their first Pong system a year before she was born, "I mean, look at those jagged lines on the edges of that canyon. It totally ruins the majestic, awe-inspiring effect I can tell they were going for."
"I don't know, I guess I get kind of excited about some games when they first come out, but most of them get boring after only like 10 or 20 hours of play," said poll respondent Jimmy Sanders, 23, whose grandfather worked 70 hours a week in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania for 57 years straight. "Most of the time, I'm like, I'd rather just chill out with my iPod and check Facebook or something, y'know?"
Pew Analyst Andy Rothschild said the results proved that today's gamers are desensitized to the wonders of the time that they live in. "Prolonged exposure to the amazing and constantly growing quality of modern gaming has made today's gamer into an unimpressible wall, always requiring more and more stimulation to be less and less entertained. When I was growing up, you know what we'd do for fun? We'd kick a tin can down the dusty road. Just kicking a single can, over and over again, down the street and back. And dagnabbit, we loved it!"
Bed Bath & Beyond to Start Selling Used Games
Following the lead of major players like GameFly, Best Buy and Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond today announced that it would be adding a used game section to most or all of its stores by the end of 2010.
The newly rebranded Bed, Bath, Used Games & Beyond stores will include a substantial selection of secondhand classic and current releases among their selections of bed linens, toiletries and kitchen accessories.
"We'll admit, the recession has hit us a bit harder than expected," said BBUG&B Marketing Director Brandy Carlisle. "It seems that, when people lose their jobs, the duvet covers are one of the first budget items to be cut." Carlisle added that they would "love to get a piece" of the kind of record profits that GameStop has been reporting over the last few quarters. "I mean, have you seen their P&L statements? Why the hell are we selling washcloths when you can make that kind of scratch selling games?
Carlisle said that the used games will fit perfectly with the store's current crop of products. "Picking up a new blender? Why not get a copy of Personal Trainer: Cooking to go with it? Buying a bathroom scale? Get Wii Fit and a Balance Board at the same time! A set of kitchen knives? Manhunt 2 can show you how those knives will work without the need for time-consuming real-world testing. See? It totally works!"
Carlisle also assured gamers that trade-in rates would be "competitive with area pawn shops" and that the used games would be guaranteed to work "unless they're scratched or something."
Editor's note: These stories are 100 percent satire. Yes, Kyle Orland made it all up.